`Astronaut's Wife' Crashes as Supernatural Thriller

By Arnold, Gary | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), September 3, 1999 | Go to article overview

`Astronaut's Wife' Crashes as Supernatural Thriller


Arnold, Gary, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


"The Astronaut's Wife" sounds like a title that eluded Lily Tomlin 20 years ago. Though strictly classifiable as a science fiction or supernatural thriller rather than a comedy, it proves as weirdly unappealing as the similarly titled "The Slugger's Wife," an actual dud of 1985.

Maybe there's something unlucky about the possessive case.

The uncherished "Slugger" is the answer to a trivia question: "What was the worst movie ever written by Neil Simon?" In a similar respect, Johnny Depp and Charlize Theron, the unwary co-stars of "Astronaut," may now have the defining low points of their careers.

Seldom have such photogenic leads been squandered in such an unflattering fashion. The film's distributor, New Line, felt embarrassed enough to skip press screenings, a form of self-criticism last practiced by Warner Bros. when compelled to release "The Avengers" last summer.

The awful truth is that "Astronaut" may be more exploitable at the moment than it deserves to be. "The Blair Witch Project" and "The Sixth Sense" have inadvertently combined to make spookiness all the rage again.

The movie audience teems with folks who want to see dreadful things happen. Their only legitimate complaint in this case may be a lighting scheme so dark that they'll suspect ghoulish creatures are being unfairly concealed in the murk.

An affected abstractionist, the novice writer-director Rand Ravich favors compositions in which glare and amber hues alternate with glare and icy blue or gray hues.

When feeling more punitive than usual, he resorts to faintly illuminated silhouettes against inky darkness. The ostensible location during most of the film, New York City, is rarely depicted in a naturalistic or disarming way.

It might as well be called Really, Really Dark City.

Mr. Ravich revives evil-minded devices from "Rosemary's Baby" to camouflage a menace that ultimately owes more to "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Mr. Depp, an astronaut called Spencer Armacost, encounters something inexplicable and loses consciousness for two minutes while doing extravehicular repair work during a mission.

Miss Theron, his wife, Jillian, who is a second-grade teacher, can take scant comfort in his apparent recovery. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

`Astronaut's Wife' Crashes as Supernatural Thriller
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.